Saving Vegetable Seeds
Seeds of some vegetables can be saved. If the seed packet is labeled as “Hybrid”, seed should not be saved, because crops grown from those saved seeds will not always be the same as the hybrid [parent plant], and may even be very different. If the seed packet is labeled as “open pollinated,” then seed may be saved. Some seeds require washing to remove sugars which may encourage fungal molds. Always use clean water for this. Dry seed well in the shade for two to three days until it is completely dry. After the seed has been harvested and cleaned, it should be kept dry and in a cool place.
In tropical countries with high humidity, seeds which are kept in the open and not in air-tight containers, may absorb moisture from the air, and this together with high temperatures, will cause seed to die quickly. Also, if seed is kept in the sun or other hot places, it will quickly die. The best way to keep seed is to dry it well, then to keep it in a screw top glass jar which has a rubber seal, in a cool place. This will also protect the seed from weevil and insect damage. Dry seed kept in an airtight container as described above, should remain alive for 2-3 years.
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